I never used to use any protein powders or vegan powders for my drinks, but since I’ve started taking my fitness and work outs seriously during the past two years, I have gradually tried out quite a few, and this post will be a quick run-down of what I use and recommend. Some powders are pretty expensive, so I’ve included ones that are more affordable. All of the products I’m going to mention are ones I have used for at least a few months, and some for almost a year.
I have purchased all of these myself, except for the two Madre Labs powders, which were sent to me for review.
I usually make protein shakes before a work out, because it helps to keep me energized and helps to build muscle tissue. I highly recommend using glass straws with your shakes instead of plastic ones. They are very durable and eco-friendly – check out the lovely people at GlassDharma and their pretty straws! If you want, you can read my GlassDharma straw review here.
How to use Protein Powders
- Protein powders can be used to make smoothies and shakes.
- They can be simply added to water, juice or non-dairy milk.
- You can sprinkle them on cereal, granola or in baking and cooking recipes.
- I’ve used some Amazing Grass Chocolate Drink Powder to make No Bake Chocolate Protein Bars, but one could use any chocolate protein powder.
- Depending on what you’re putting in your drink, you can mix your protein powder in a blender, Magic Bullet or a Blender Bottle (Not if you’re adding bananas and hard items).
- *Most need to be refrigerated
Kinds of Vegan Protein
Some Vegan Protein Powder Brands
- Garden of Life
- NOW Foods
- Jarrow Formulas
- Sun Warrior
- Life Time
- Manitoba Harvest
- Olympian Labs Inc.
- Amazing Grass
Things to Add into Your Protein Smoothie Drinks:
- Chia Seeds / Salba
- Blackstrap Molasses (has the most vitamins and minerals out of all types of molasses)
- Ground Flaxseeds
- Banana (Adds thickness and sweetness…I love to freeze bananas before I blend them into my drinks :))
- Goji Berries
- Lucuma Powder (adds sweetness / thickness) – Quick page on Lucuma Powder
- Shelled Hemp Seeds
- Vanilla Extract (If your protein powder is unflavoured)
- Cacao powder
- Raisins / Dates
- Ice cubes
- Fruit (frozen or fresh)
- Vegan yogurt
- Agave / Honey / Yacon Syrup
Protein Smoothie Recipes
- Berry Energy Smoothie
- Chocolate Hemp Smoothie
- Vanilla Fruit Smoothie
- Chocolate Banana Smoothie
- Vanilla Hemp Smoothie
Manitoba Harvest is the first Protein Powder brand that I ever tried. I started with the Vanilla Protein, but I haven’t been able to find it, so I have tried other Vanilla Protein Powders since then. I now have the unflavoured kind. I don’t use it as much as some of the others, but it’s good to have a neutral one around.
- %50 Protein
- Cold Milled
- Contains all 10 Essential Amino Acids
- No Pesticides
- No GMOs
- 4 tbs = 14% Fiber, 15g Protein
Amazing Grasses’ drink powders are one of the most affordable brand’s I’ve seen. I’ve tried the Chocolate powder (shown below) and a couple of their fruity ones. I’ve enjoyed all of them and have repurchased the chocolate kind. One scoop is very high in Vitamin A, C and K.
These two are a couple of my faves. I always like having a vanilla and chocolate protein powder in the fridge, and my favourite kind of protein has been Hemp so far. I haven’t tried pea protein yet though, and I try to limit my soy intake, so I don’t get soy proteins. I really like the flavours of these two protein powders…especially when some frozen banana and almond milk is added to them. Decently priced too.
Madre Labs is a new line of products by iHerb. I did a review on four of their products here, if you’re interested in learning more. These two aren’t protein powders, but they are jam-packed full of healthy ingredients. They are on the pricier side, but that is due to the ingredients. I’ll have to paste in the ingredients from iHerb, since I can’t remember by memory:
Midori Greens: Three traditional Japanese ingredients: Ashitaba, Japanese Matcha Green Tea & Wildcrafted Wasabi. It also contains Field-Grown Whole Grasses, Herbs & Vegetables, Broken Cell Wall Chlorella, Marine Phytoplankton, and Beet Juice Powder.
Eureka! Berries: Açaí, Mangosteen, Red Raspberry, Chilean Rose hips, Blueberry, Beet, High Latitude Blend (Black Currant, Wild Bilberry, Aronia, Pomegranate, Wild Lingonberry, Concord Grape, Wild Blueberry, Sour Cherry, Wild Elderberry, Wild Cranberry, Black Raspberry), plus concentrated extracts of Pomegranate and Mangosteen.
Eureka! Berries tastes quite pleasant when added to drinks. The Midori Greens requires some sort of healthy sweetener added to it, whether it be fruit or stevia or a liquid sweetener. That might just be my taste though, as some people may not mind the bitterness. It’s the same with my green juices – I need some kind of fruit in there to sweeten it up.
I’m still trying to find love for Spirulina, but it is very healthy and I could probably find more creative ways to use it so I don’t stick my tongue out at it. I saw some spirulina bars once…maybe I can try that. Hmm. Also, Spirulina Crunchies…those don’t sound too bad. Anyway, I digress. Spirulina has antioxidants and promotes immune health. 1 tsp has 100% vitamin A (5000 IU), 2g Protein, 20% Vitamin K, 10% Iron as well as 30mg Chlorophyll.
Here is some more info on Spirulina from Health Wealth Happiness.
- One 3 g (6 x 500 mg tablets) serving supplies the nutritional equivalent of TWO servings of fresh vegetables!
- Boosts energy and cellular health
- More than 60% easy-to-digest all-vegetable protine.
- Rare food source of the essential fatty acid GLA
- High in B-12 and easy-to-absorb iron
Chia Seeds!! I can’t believe I’ve only started incorporating these beauties into my diet in the last 9 or 10 months. I had no idea how wonderful and versatile these seeds were. And their absorbing power of liquids is awesome, scientifically speaking. You can do so many things with chia seeds – Make puddings, add them to smoothies, cookies, muffins, cakes, breads… They turn from hard little seeds into gelatinous soft balls (haha) in a matter of minutes! I just made a chocolate chia pudding last night by adding water, chia seeds, cacao and a bit of sweetener and it becomes a nice tapioca-esque pudding when you leave it in the fridge for an hour +. I have a similar recipe up, but it contains more ingredients which you could omit if you’d like: Chocolate Chia Pudding. The one I made last night has some Cacao nibs sprinkle on top.
Anyway, Chia seeds are great to add into a smoothie, as they are a great thickener. 2 tbs contains 25% dietary fiber (6g) and tons of vitamins and minerals, such as Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium.
I sometimes add shelled hemp seeds into my smoothies and shakes. I currently have some from Nutiva. They contain 33% Protein, 9% Omega-3 and are not genetically modified in any way. Add them to your drinks, on top of your cereal/oatmeal, in yogurt, salads, soups and in your baking adventures. High in Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus and Magnesium. They are soft, so they are not hard to blend.
I have only started eating goji berries in the past few months. They are one of the “Superfoods”, along with Cacao and Maca, to name a couple. I picked up a small box of them to try out and now I add them on top of cereal, oatmeal, in cookies and muffins and sometimes blended into smoothies. I just read that you can make tea with them too! They are not super sweet, which is nice, so if they are mixed with raisins or dates they don’t add even more intense sweetness. Goji Berry Benefits on Be Well Buzz.
Sorry about the dirty and cracked jar! I am currently storing my Lucuma Powder in a PB2 container, because it’s easier to get to than in the original bag it came in. Lucuma Powder is a good choice for a healthy sweetener. It contains vitamins and minerals and can be added to desserts and smoothies. It’s apparently a popular Ice cream flavour in South America. I’d be interested to try that.